The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, with the Radio City Rockettes, has been high-kicking off the Holiday season with classic dance numbers, special effects, gorgeous costumes and innovative staging since 1933. Every year, more than one million people enter Radio City Music Hall to see the one-of-a-kind show and participate in a classic New York tradition. In fact, for many theatergoers, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular is an annual event, right up there with the Rockefeller Christmas tree and the Holiday window displays, and a quintessential part of the Christmas-in-New-York experience.
What keeps audiences coming back? Well, there’s the synchronized kicking, the dazzling costumes (and smiles) and the superb pageantry. There’s also something kind of magical about the combination of classic musical theater and high-tech special effects. Cherished perennial favorites, which date back to 1933, include “The Living Nativity” a majestic number complete with live camels, sheep and mules, and the “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers,” where the Rockettes — dressed in Toy Soldier costumes that were designed by famed director Vincente Minnelli in 1933 — show off their precision footwork and fall like dominoes. This year’s production includes a dazzling new opening number complete with brand new sets, costumes and effects.
Smiling and glamorous, the world-famous Rockettes show off their moves during “New York at Christmas” where they ride on an actual double-decker Gray Line bus on stage and tour the city. A 3D film, on the world’s largest indoor LED screen (and on the walls and ceilings), brings the audience along for a ride in Santa’s sleigh over frozen terrain, past New York City’s famous landmarks and right into Radio City Music Hall.
In the showstopper “Twelve Days of Christmas,” the Rockettes tap thunderously on a steel stage that’s magnified with stage mics (and wireless mics attached inside every dancer’s tap shoe) and Santa lifts the curtain — and roof — with a rousing rendition of the classic carol. During the finale, “Let Christmas Shine,” the Rockettes sparkle and shine as they don costumes encrusted with more than 3,000 Swarovski crystals each.
Did You Know?
The Rockettes perform six shows a day, with two casts each performing three shows. During one show, the Rockettes change costumes eight times — and sometimes as fast as 80 seconds.
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